Our 5 Favorite Alternatives to New York Fashion Week

Ksubi Spring '12

As the fashion pack’s peregrinations take them across the ocean today (and some of us get our New York back), it’s topical to remember that when it comes to style — and in particular, emerging fashion — it’s not all about New York, London, Milan, and Paris.  If anything, it seems like every city on earth has tried its hand at hosting a fashion week.  Since alternatives abound, we took a look at our favorite answers to the established Big Four:

A look from Ksubi’s spring collection.

1.  Australia — Besides the fact that it’s big enough to warrant Mercedes Benz sponsorship (à la New York), the industry’s own trendsetters are putting this late April/early May event on the map.  At its last installment, Moda Operandi picked up ten new designers from the Sydney shows to include in a pre-order feature.  Meanwhile, for native Aussies, several of the event’s brands have offered stunningly instant clothing availability (including a three-hour show-to-delivery turnaround).

One view of J. Lindeber’s Spring/Summer ’13 show.

2. Stockholm — Acne? J. Lindeberg? Cheap Monday?  Besides the fact that Sweden’s premiere fashion week is likewise under the Mercedes-Benz umbrella, it’s also just unbelievably stylish.  Given the high level of global influence wielded by the fashion coming out of Stockholm, we’re surprised the city’s official show dates aren’t more of a de rigueur stop on fashion’s international circuit.

Nigerian Fashion Week is going green this year.

3. Nigeria — Come on, it’s a fashion week in Lagos, one of the world’s biggest megacities.  And as brands like Edun and Lemlem turn to African textiles as the new go-to fabrics, it’s only sensible to pay attention to the fashion coming out of this part of the world, too.  Beyond that, this year’s event is demonstrating a substantial environmental commitment.  Besides hosting a show featuring sustainable fashion, the guests themselves are expected to attend wearing ecologically conscious garb.  We’d like to see New York or Paris pull that off.  Disaster would ensue.  The next shows are coming up November 8th to 10th; check them out.

Three very different looks from Sao Paulo.

4.  Sao Paulo — If a few of the world’s hottest models come out of Brazil, why not go to Brazil to see a whole slew of them?  Besides the girls, Sao Paulo Fashion Week has been getting attention from Moda Operandi, it’s covered by online industry mainstay Fashionista, and it’s bathing suit central and offers plenty of really unique high fashion.  Plus Brazil has one of the largest, fastest-growing middle classes in the world — this event is only going to get bigger from here.

One winter-ready look during Fashion Week in Moscow.

5.  Russia:  Russians are taking over Fashion Week in New York and Paris, so it’s probably high time everyone pays attention to where those women are coming from.  Granted, a lot of what the Russian tastemakers wear comes out of the West, but as the country’s general style influence continues to grow, its domestic labels are only going get more important.  And Russia, like Brazil, has a middle class on the up and up.  As it expands, so will the country’s homegrown brands.